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MAY began with news of a shake-up in Arts Council funding of jazz organisations, and the successful bid by Jazz North to become the new north jazz agency.
Music education has also undergone an upheaval and York has been successful in applying to set up the York Music Education Hub, to provide access to instrumental lessons and singing for children and young people.
The aim will be to offer high-quality musical experience, instrumental loan services and professional development for music educators. Instrumental and vocal ensembles will cover a broad range of ability levels in orchestral, concert, jazz, early music, folk, percussion and rock groups.
Hub partnerships include the National Centre for Early Music and gifted and talented pupils will be offered advanced training through a partnership with Yorkshire Young Musicians. The York hub scheme will benefit to the tune of £388,000. For more information, contact Tim Brooks (01904 554663 firstname.lastname@example.org) or Alison Goffin (01904 664660 email@example.com) Wakefield Jazz is the first northern date for Swedish vocalist Cecilia Stalin and her band, with Toni Kofi (01977 680542). Having established a career in Stockholm, Cecilia moved to London, where she quickly made a name for herself, particularly notable for writing her own lyrics to the music of John Coltrane. Pianist with the band is Peter Edwards, musical director of Tomorrow’s Warriors Jazz Orchestra.
Rounding of May at Jazz In The Spa tomorrow night will be Mart Roger Manchester Jazz (01937 842544). The band’s exuberant traditional jazz is a great favourite at the Trustees Hall, Boston Spa.
Brazilian pianist Zezo Olimpio leads the regular piano trio every Sunday at Kennedy’s Café Bar, Little Stonegate, York, from 1pm (01904 620222).
Sunday jazz in York continues on Sunday night with the Ian Chalk Quartet at the Phoenix Inn, George Street, York and the regular jam session packs them in every Wednesday night (01904 656401).
Scarborough Jazz runs every Wednesday night at the Cask Inn, Cambridge Terrace, and next week’s guest is Knaresborough-based Tina Featherstone, who plays clarinet and saxophone (01723 379818). Tina has played with the New Squadronaires and a Stan Kenton tribute band. On Wednesday she will feature in a more intimate setting with the Mike Gordon Trio.
Thursday jazz at the Old White Swan, Goodramgate, York, has been running for nigh on 20 years, with the Mardi Gras Band and Bejazzled with Mike Riley alternating. Next week will be Bejazzled night (01904 540911).
Fans of the late trumpeter Chet Baker can now buy a Chet Baker Limited Edition automatic wrist watch. The Oris watch company began investing in jazz with the London Jazz Festival in 1996 and has similarly honoured Andy Sheppard, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker with watches. My Funny Valentine being Mr Chet’s best-known song, the first eight bars are represented on the watch dial and the watch has a silhouette of him on the back case. The watch is limited to an edition of 1,929, Chet’s birth year, and all you need to own this souvenir timepiece is £1,250.
On the other hand, you may like to start saving your money for the York Mystery Soul Festival (August, 10 to 25) to celebrate the York Mystery Plays. A joint J-Night/York Theatre Royal presentation, the big guns include Ruby Turner, Jazz Jamaica and the Pee Wee Ellis Funk Assembly. A Snakefest features nine different Snake Davis ensembles, from a solo set, to trio, quartet and quintet and the Snake Davis Big Band. There will be bands and DJs in the theatre foyer and the bar will be open until midnight. Book three shows for the price of two on 01904 623568 or go to yorktheatreroyal.co.uk